Novak Djokovic stokes feud with Nick Kyrgios by declaring he has ‘no respect’ for the loudmouth Australian star’s off-field antics
- Nick Kyrgios has had a long-running battle with the star Serbian Novak Djokovic
- Djokovic praised the 25-year-old’s tennis ability but dismissed him as a person
- ‘Off the court I don’t have much respect for him to be honest,’ Djokovic said
Kyrgios has had a long-running battle with the star Serbian, recently labelling the eight-time Australian Open champion a ‘tool’ for writing a list of player demands during hotel quarantine.
The big-hitting Kyrgios also slammed Djokovic as ‘boneheaded’ for hosting an infamous exhibition tournament last June.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (pictured left) talks to his wife Jelena during a match at the Adria Tour
Novak Djokovic (pictured) plays a backhand during a practice session ahead of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 7
Kyrgios, 25, said ‘Djokovic is a tool,’ on Twitter on January 18 in response to news of player complaints about conditions in quarantine. He also turned his sights on Tomic’s reality TV star partner Vanessa Sierra over her quarantine complaints
Djokovic’s ill-fated charity event, the Adria Tour, ended with Djokovic and other high-profile players testing positive for COVID-19.
When asked on Sunday about Kyrgios’ criticism, Djokovic praised the 25-year-old’s tennis ability but dismissed him as a person.
‘I think he’s good for the sport,’ Djokovic told reporters.
‘He’s someone that is different and goes about his tennis (and) his off-court things in his own authentic way. I have respect for him.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured with his girlfriend) previously said he plans to keep calling out any poor behaviour from Novak Djokovic
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts after loosing the first set during his Murray River Open on January 5
‘I have respect for everyone else really because everyone has a right and freedom to choose how they want to express themselves and what they want to do.
‘My respect goes to him for the tennis he’s playing. I think he’s a very talented guy, he’s got a big game and he’s proven that he has a quality to beat any player in the world.
‘Off the court I don’t have much respect for him to be honest. That’s where I’ll close it.
‘I don’t really have any further comments for him and his own comments for me or anything else he’s trying to do.’
World number one Novak Djokovic (pictured on the balcony of his Adelaide quarantine) has copped a backlash online after making a list of demands for 72 Australian Open players in hard quarantine
World No.47 Kyrgios said last month he feels it is important to hold fellow tennis professionals to account when they act out.
A die-hard basketball fan, Kyrgios compared Djokovic’s influence on others to that of NBA superstar LeBron James.
The powerful right-hander begins his Australian Open campaign against Portuguese qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva on Monday.